in Paris after earlier sliding to 6.77 euros, leaving it 2.4 percent lower for the year to date. Deutsche Lufthansa AG (LHA) , Europes second-biggest airline, has lost 3.8 percent, and No. 3 International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (IAG) , parent of British Airways and Spain s Iberia, is up almost 74 percent. The latest restructuring will mark the final phase in the Transform 2015 plan, and make the company competitive with Lufthansa and IAG, Air France unit CEO Frederic Gagey told reporters. Earlier measures generated a 100 million-euro gain in operating profit in the first half, the carrier said. While the Air France divisions intercontinental network will be enhanced by more fuel efficient Airbus SAS A350 and Boeing 787 jets due from 2017, deliveries of some Airbus A380 superjumbos may need to be adjusted, Gagey said. Unprofitable routes, particularly those connecting secondary cities in France, will be closed, and some freight activities will be outsourced, the airline said. The Air France unit is now headed for its sixth straight annual loss, according to the statement. At group level, the carrier continues to predict an operating profit, which prior to today had been estimated at 200 million euros, according to a Bloomberg survey of 15 analysts. The outlook revision comes after Dublin-based Ryanair Holdings Plc (RYA) , Europes biggest discount carrier, said on Sept. 4 it may miss its annual profit target, with Irish rival Aer Lingus Group Plc also cutting its profit forecast on Sept.
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Higgins’ Scuffs: The France Genes Are Seen Again
Kathy Lally and Will Englund President Vladimir Putins foreign minister never strays from his appointed message to the West. Unease in Tunisia Frances intervention in Mali has emboldened the government on other overseas operations. Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb was largely ousted from northern Mali. Only seven French soldiers died in the months-long intervention, while French officials say hundreds of militants were killed. The operation paved the way for elections generally seen as legitimate. The Mali intervention offered France an assertion of French military capabilities outside of an operation dominated by the U.S., said Marc Pierini, a Frenchman who served 35 years as a European Union diplomat, including four years as its ambassador to Syria at the start of Assads tenure. SOLE STRENGTH IN EUROPE? After Britains parliament blocked any potential British military participation in a Syria strike earlier this month, France stood alone as the European country most willing to wield the military threat alongside the United States against Assads regime. From a military standpoint, none of the other European countries are needed, Pierini said. The only European country that has Tomahawks is the U.K. its paralyzed politically so the next best thing is the French Scalp, an airplane-fired cruise missile. Former Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine said France also wants to give more teeth to the EU. The other Europeans are not in the mindset of Europe power, but one of Big Switzerland thats to say an isolationist, pacifist evolution, and want to avoid all foreign dramas and intervene as little as possible, he said in a phone interview.
Air France Says Planning 2,800 Additional Job Cuts
Must enter an email address. You must enter the verification code below to send. Invalid entry: Please type the verification code again. September 18, 2013, 10:11 a.m. ET Air France Says Planning 2,800 Additional Job Cuts Text By Sam Schechner PARIS–Air France-KLM (AF.FR) plans to cut more jobs and lean more on its low-cost affiliate for flights inside Europe in a renewed effort to return to profit amid a sputtering economy and cut-throat competition on domestic and long-haul routes, it said Wednesday. The airline, a unit of Air France-KLM SA, said it will eliminate another 2,800 jobs from its French operations over the next two years, in addition to the 5,100 job cuts announced last year as part of a cost-saving plan. The French airline said it hopes the cuts will help it save 450 million euros ($585 million) a year as part of a company-wide transformation plan aimed at cutting roughly EUR2 billion in annual costs by 2015. The new plan underscores how many of Europe’s former monopoly carriers are struggling to cut costs fast enough amid relentless competition for their domestic business from budget carriers like Ryanair Holdings PLC. At the same time, fast-growing Middle Eastern and Asian carriers are competing more fiercely for long-haul passengers on routes between Europe and Asia. Air France had said in July it envisaged only shedding in the region of 2,600 jobs in a second round of job cuts. Air France said it plans also to lean more on its low-cost subsidiary Transavia to handle shorter flights where its flagship Air France has been losing money. That could translate to fewer Air France flights to cities like Toulouse, to be connected to Paris by a new high-speed rail link, as well as from Paris’s smaller Orly airport to destinations around Europe. Cost-cutting has already helped Air France-KLM’s bottom line.